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LG G3 Beat keeps the G3’s laser autofocus camera, but not the Quad HD screen (Updated)

LG has announced a smaller version of its G3 flagship device, but has sensibly avoided calling it a “mini,” and gone with the G3 Beat instead. Why sensibly? At 5-inches, its screen size equals that of HTC’s One M8, so the name simply wouldn’t fit. Aside from breaking that trend, the G3 Beat is at its heart, still a shrunken down G3, so let’s take a more detailed look at its spec sheet.

Updated on 07-18-2014 by Andy: LG has sent out another press release saying the G3 Beat will be released in Europe under the name of the LG G3 S. A blog post on LG’s German language portal states the phone will out there during August, and it’ll be priced at 350 euros, which converts to about $470. The G3 S is identical to the G3 Beat.

Predictably, the G3 Beat doesn’t share the G3’s 2560 x 1440 pixel screen resolution, and perhaps even more predictably, makes do with 1280 x 720 pixels instead. LG has kept the thin bezels surrounding the display though, giving the device a high 74.1 percent screen-to-body ratio. LG says it has employed the same “floating arc” design as the G3, meaning it has gently curved, smoothed out sides, and tapered edges to improve how it feels in the hand.

Qualcomm’s quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, running at 1.2GHz, powers the G3 Beat, along with 1GB of RAM. This is the same setup found in many mid-range smartphones today, including the popular Motorola Moto G. The 8GB of memory inside the G3 Beat can quickly be increased with the addition of a MicroSD card, plus other features include 4G LTE connectivity, Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC.

LG has carried over the G3’s cool laser autofocus sensor to the G3 Beat, mating it to an 8-megapixel camera on the rear, which is fitted above the newly redesigned rear controls. Both these features are great additions to the G3, so we have high expectations for them here too. On the software side, the camera gets Gesture Shot, where clenching a fist activates the 1.3-megapixel front cam’s three-second timer, and Touch and Shoot minimizes the time it takes to snap a photo. Finally, Android 4.4 KitKat is installed.

The G3 Beat has only been fully announced for South Korea at the moment, where it’ll go on sale July 18, but LG also says it’ll be released in Europe in the near future too. There’s no mention of the U.S. at this point, but we’ll keep you updated.

CONTINUE TO PAGE TWO FOR A ROUNDUP OF G3 BEAT RUMORS, SPREAD BEFORE ITS ANNOUNCEMENT

LG could be working on a mini version of its G3 smartphone. Creating miniature devices which capitalize on a flagship model’s name is now very common, and LG has already made a G2 Mini, which was released earlier in 2014. The full-size G3 is a considerable step forward – both for LG and in terms of tech – so should we expect any of the innovations to filter down to the smaller model? Let’s take a look at what the rumor mill is saying.

Will it be named the G3 Mini?

A rumor indicates LG may shun the Mini name this time around, at least in some countries. The new name being considered appears to be the LG G3 Beat, but it could end up only being used in China. A picture of the phone alongside an official-looking LG spec card showed up on an LG fan website, and not only teased the name, but the possible specification too.

The G3 Beat has been linked with the model number LG D729, while other leaks revealed both the LG D725 and LG D722 model numbers.

G3 Beat Leak

Could LG make two different sized versions?

The G3 Beat’s specification says the phone will have a 5-inch screen, which may explain why it has abandoned the Mini name, making it only 0.5-inch smaller than the regular G3. However, other reports have said the phone will have a 4.5-inch screen, making it smaller than he G2 Mini, which has a 4.7-inch display.

One spec that is agreed upon is the resolution, which won’t match the 2560 x 1440 pixels on the G3’s amazing screen, but instead be a far more standard 720p pixel count.

G3 Beat Rear Leak

Mid-range specs mean it won’t break the bank

Specifications leaked under the G3 Beat name show the phone coming with a 1.2GHz, quad-core Snapdragon processor with 2GB of RAM, plus 16GB of internal memory, a 2540mAh battery, and an 8-megapixel camera. This almost exactly matches previous reports, aside from the battery’s capacity, which could be dropped to 23000mAh, or even down to 2100mAh.

At the beginning of June, a shipping document for the LG D722 showed the phone could come with a 5-megapixel camera, which may refer to the front camera, and not the rear. This would be a considerable step up from the 1.3-megapixel front camera fitted to the G2 Mini, while 5-megapixels on the rear would be less desirable than G2 Mini’s 8-megapixels.

The forum post where the G3 Beat details emerged also shows the phone coming with the G3’s laser autofocus, and redesigned rear mounted controls. A single LED flash replaces the dual-LED setup on the G3 though. There’s 4G branding on the rear panel, so we can expect the phone to come with the same feature in the U.S. and Europe.

G3 Beat with G3

When will it be announced?

There was a six month gap between the G2 and the G2 Mini, but there’s no reason for LG to wait as long this time around. When it does arrive, leaks have shown it’ll be sold by AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

We’ll keep this article updated, so make sure you check back often if you’re waiting for news on the G3 Mini.